The start of a new beginning in 2020 – IAPB Valued Suppliers List
2020 will go down in history for the wrong reasons, as we all try and cope with the CORONA VIRUS global pandemic. It not only affected everyone’s life but also had a huge impact on industry.
On a positive note, 2020 also marked the start of a new beginning for the IAPB Standard List. In April 2020 after much consideration and a decision at the Board level, the IAPB Standard List was upgraded to the IAPB Valued Suppliers Scheme, giving featured manufacturers and suppliers similar benefits to our Group C members with the backing of the IAPB Brand. The Valued Suppliers have access to around 400,000 health care workers in our sector, and benefit from the huge spend in procurement from our members and their respective partners. For the first time in the history of the Standard List going back to 1985, each of the featured manufacturers and suppliers now pay a fee to list their products but receive many benefits for doing so – check out this LINK to read more about the Valued Supplier Scheme and the benefits for both Members and Valued Suppliers.
As of 25 November 2020, we have 26 Valued Suppliers signed up with a further 5-8 in the pipeline, covering all aspects of eye health and assistive products. Also, after the initial drop in hits at the beginning of the pandemic, we are back to around 5,000 unique visitors each month, and one of the largest hits on our new IAPB website.
2020 also changed the way we worked, as travel was banned and we all had to work from home. I therefore was unable to attend global conferences and exhibitions as I planned, but the pandemic introduced “Virtual” conferences and exhibitions. This year, I staffed a Virtual IAPB Booth at the World Ophthalmology Congress in June, attended (virtually) Sight Village in July, ESCRS Virtual Congress and Exhibition and staffed a virtual booth at the India Vision Institute Congress in October. We were also building up to our premier event, the IAPB Global Assembly in Singapore due to take place in October and the majority of our Valued Suppliers had booked exhibition space, but regrettably the pandemic put a stop to it and we had to cancel the event.
The Eye Health Hero 2020 awards saw for the fist time, heroes from industry who have had an impact in eye health, and I am proud to mention that 4 of our Valued Suppliers staff members won the award, namely Eisuke Shimizu from OUI INC, Carlos Santiago Hernand from PLENOPTIKA, Juuso Erixon from OPTOMED and Sri Ramaprasad Jeyaraj from APPASAMY, and my heartfelt congratulations goes to all of them and of course to all the other winners.
Philip Hoare – Valued Supplier Scheme Manager
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